It occurred to me today that I have never really shown you how I gear up to a Challenge. If I'm lucky, as I have been this week with the cold, wet, short days we are having at the moment, I can cosy on down in the Van and immerse myself in plans.
Sometimes of course a Challenge creeps up on me and I wing it a bit, but I always get the most satisfaction from seeing a Challenge well thought through. And of course it makes it SO much easier if I actually know what I'm supposed to be doing on any given day.
So after a dash into town to post a birthday card in the sorting office (so it gets there as quickly as possible), and a quick walk through the park for Suky, I came home and started doodling out lists and ideas for menus for next week.
I finally settled on an outline of how I would eat for the seven days of the Challenge.
I didn't really think about what I had in or what I would need, I concentrated instead on some favourite meals and linked most of the evening ones with a single pack of Linda McCartney sausages that I have in the freezer. This gave me a base to start with and stopped me going off on wild and wacky tangents that would cost too much money.
Then I turned this into a seven day menu, covering breakfast, dinner and tea.
I wrote myself the basic recipes I would use for each of the component parts of some of the meals. The soups, salads and pasta sauce for instance.
Filling both sides of the paper. Now I just need to keep this to hand, or perhaps transfer it to a notebook for safe keeping, I'm notorious for losing sheets of paper!!
Next I wrote out a list of the ingredients and how much of each I would need to make up the dishes from my menu.
And then finally I shopped the cupboards and the fridge for the things on the menu that I already had. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had a large proportion of the items I needed. Which goes to show that I am already starting to whittle down the foods I keep in my cupboards to things that I eat regularly, something I have been working on for a while. It's hard to ignore some recipes that sound brilliant, but when you realise that they have lots of ingredients that you wouldn't perhaps use again for a while it makes it easier to do so … and that's exactly what I have been doing for the last few months.
So now I have the Challenge firmly sorted in my head, I know what foods I have in already, what foods I need to go out and buy. Now it's time to go onto mysupermarket.co.uk and put in the foods I have and work out how much they would cost me to buy this week, and then use the remaining money to buy the things I don't have.
It's starting to look a lot like a Challenge!!
Looking forward to reading about your new challenge, my challenge is to stop shopping and shop from home with the excepting of buying fruit, veg, salad etc. As I have to get myself geared up for living in a smaller home with less room.ReplyDelete
I'm finding that by keeping big jars of my basics, flour, rice, pasta, oats etc and then half a dozen of the tins I use most often, chickpeas, beans, fruit etc I have gradually whittled down the amount of storage space I need for food. Something you most likely will have to do if you move to a much smaller space. Fingers crossed for a larder cupboard for you, that would be amazing :-)Delete
Very thorough. This is going to be very interesting indeed.ReplyDelete
I like it when I have the time to plan properly and this week has been great for that. The only trouble is I start thinking 'would this have been better, would that have been better'. I hope I can make it interesting for anyone that follows along.Delete
Crikey, that IS a thorough grounding for the challenge Sue. I notice you don't make allowances for snacks or sweet treats. You're very good! I would need to include something for when my sweet tooth kicks in. I was going to wish you good luck with the challenge but I think you have it cracked. Brilliant!ReplyDelete
I'm going to try NOT to snack if possible, but I can always have a slice of toast or a couple of Weetabix if I get peckish. My sweet tooth has crept up on me again recently, perhaps too many trips for coffee and cake with Suky … I knew there was a downside to a good coffee shop that had vegan cakes!! Hopefully three good meals a day will get me back on track :-)Delete
I can see I am going to enjoy this. One question is it Chickpea Tuna?ReplyDelete
We too are off to the caravan this week, it will be the last time this year. We like going this time of year, it is so quiet there, we use it as a base to visit family before Christmas. Helen S.
Yes it is Chickpea Tuna … to see the ingredients click on photo five. It's bloody tasty and no little fishes have to die to make it :-)Delete
Have a great time at your caravan, we do the same as we are nearer to all our families at our Van, meaning we are thinking of permanently re-locating to this area.
Snacking is a problem for me. I'm not a breakfast person so eat brunch which means I need something mid afternoon. It's all looking well planned and planning leads to success.ReplyDelete
To be honest it can be for me too sometimes. But when I'm doing a Challenge I seem to be able to really focus myself well. Perhaps my next Challenge should be a year long one!!Delete
I seem to have cured myself of snacking and just stick to 3 meals a day....no idea how I managed it! I love sitting down with a pretty notebook (of which I have several) and making lists and plans. I'm looking forward to reading all about your Challenge every day next week.ReplyDelete
Perhaps it's an age thing as I've cured myself usually, but I do have my moments :-)Delete
I've been using a few of my notebooks to keep tabs on myself for the Challenges recently, but I'm saving the best til last.
Wow, you are extremely organized for this challenge. I am afraid I always wing it when I set myself a challenge.ReplyDelete
Oh, I have winged it in the past and although it's fun to do it that way sometimes, I never get to eat as well as when I plan things out.Delete
Having little money for food in the past when my boys were small, meant I had no choice but to make sure the food lasted the full week, you can't have hungry children. I guess this has always stayed with me.